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Voodoo Dome
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Emperor aka Pea Soup, The 
Summer Sojourn 
White Punks on Dope 

The Emperor aka Pea Soup 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ British: E5 6a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 105'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11c/d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Tony Yaniro and Brett Maurer
Page Views: 602
Submitted By: ACassebeer on Oct 30, 2013
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redpoint... 2007


This route was described by Randy Leavitt as, "The best crack at the Needles." Despite this description, the route seems to have fallen into Needles obscurity maybe due to the difficult approach, lack of an updated guidebook, and general difficulty of the climb. However, this route inspires the imagination and those who seek it out will not be disappointed.

The Emperor is a pure granite crack climb. As are most Needles routes, it is sustained in nature. The rock is spectacular, the gear is textbook, and the position is amazing. The first pitch can be top-roped (barely) with a 60m rope, although a 70m is recommended. The climb (Pea Soup) continues for several more pitches to the top, but only the first is described here.


This route is located on the south face of Voodoo Dome. The start is difficult to find and explain - perhaps this is part of the adventure. It is possible to reach the base by foot on easy terrain. Once at the base of the cliff, most will choose to rope-up and approach the climb from climber's right, although it is possible to solo easily 5th class.


Natural protection with a two-bolt rappel anchor. The anchor could use some help from anyone willing to switch out the fixed slings and biners for some chain and quick-links. To stay in character with the route I will not make any gear recommendations.

Photos of The Emperor aka Pea Soup Slideshow Add Photo
Aaron Cassebeer climbing The Emperor, 5.12a (Photo: Paisley Close)
Aaron Cassebeer climbing The Emperor, 5.12a (Photo...
The Emperor, 5.12a, Voodoo Dome, The Needles (Photo: Aaron Cassebeer)
The Emperor, 5.12a, Voodoo Dome, The Needles (Phot...
Jeff Gicklhorn, high on The Emperor, 5.12a, The Needles (Photo: Paisley Close)
Jeff Gicklhorn, high on The Emperor, 5.12a, The Ne...
Jeff Gicklhorn climbing The Emperor, 5.12a, The Needles (Photo: Paisley Close)
Jeff Gicklhorn climbing The Emperor, 5.12a, The Ne...
Comments on The Emperor aka Pea Soup Add Comment
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By Luke Stefurak
From: Mountain View, CA
Nov 4, 2013

Does this need equal lengths chains? Uneven? 5 links ok or are the bolts far apart? Thanks!!

By Jeff Gicklhorn
From: A Climbing Mecca Near You!
Nov 4, 2013
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a

Luke: Needs equal length chains, but the bolts are ~18" apart so 5 links may be a little bit short. Definitely get up there!

By ACassebeer
From: Mojave, CA
Nov 5, 2013

A good thread on Supertopo with more information, see the comments section: Supertopo Thread

Nov 8, 2013
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a

Why bother posting a route with no info?
Full rack to 2", no RPs, extras in the red Metolius/purple BD range.
You can see the dihedrals from below, aim a bit right and walk left to the base of the route. One of the all-time best.